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last ship

TNT continues what appears to be a strong start to the summer season on Sunday when the Michael Bay executive produced drama, the Last Ship screens at 9pm for the first of 10 episodes. Based on the novel of the same name by William Brinkley, The Last Ship postulates a post-apocalyptic world in which the remnants of society, not least the crew of the USS Nathan James, battle to survive.

Brinkley’s novel, published in 1988 by Viking Press and Ballantine Books, used the background of a brief, but all out, nuclear exchange on which to craft his story of the trials and tribulations that the crew undergo. Here, a global pandemic is the source of the apocalyptic event causing Commander Tom Chandler and paleomicrobiologist Dr. Rachel Scott to team up in search of a cure.

Eric Dane, Dr. Mark ‘McSteamy’ Sloan on Grey’s Anatomy plays Commander Chandler and appears to have the requisite square-jawiness for the role while English actress Rhona Mitra, who you might recall as the victim of an attack by the invisible Sebastian (Kevin Bacon) in Hollow Man, gets the plumb role as Dr. Scott. Mitra has worked consistently appearing in such shows as The Practice, Boston Legal, Nip/Tuck and Gideon’s Crossing where she co-starred with Dane. This however is a big step up for both Dane and Mitra and I’ll be very curious to see if they can carry the primary duties on the show.

The presence of Bay behind the scenes, although he never directs an episode, should guarantee some high-octane action and with all summer shows the fate of The Last Ship will be decided on just how quickly they pick up an audience.

Tuesday TNT prepares for the Season Five premiere of Rizzoli & Isles, later that same evening at 9pm, with a marathon session of all 16 episodes from the fourth Season of the show. I have, I admit, something of a negative personal bias when it comes to the series even though I enjoy watching the occasional episode. I loved Sasha Alexander as Caitlin Todd in NCIS and the portrayal of Dr. Maura Isles just doesn’t jive with the way I perceive the actress. I know that’s irrational and we watch dozens of actors play different roles on a regular basis in both television and film. And yet for whatever reason Alexander is typecast in my own head. Is that fair? No, but that’s the reason I don’t get overly excited about the show even though Angie Harmon is quite perfect as detective Jane Rizzoli. Indeed I plan to watch the series again from the beginning and try and blitz through the first season to get more comfortable with the Ives character once the show becomes available for streaming on Amazon, Hulu or Netflix.

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